SBD/Issue 135/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Average MLB Player Salary Hits Record High After ’04 Drop

MLB Average Salary Hits Record
High As Total Team Payrolls Decline
MLB team payrolls this season total $2.2B, and the $2.64M average salary is up from $2.49M last season and $2.58M in ’03, according to USA TODAY’s annual survey of player salaries. The Yankees, who lead all teams with a payroll of $208.3M, have increased payroll each year since USA TODAY began collecting the data in ’85. The Yankees are spending $96.6M on pitching, which is more than 26 teams spend on their entire roster. Overall, MLB pitchers will earn a total of $928M, an increase from $850M each of the last two seasons (USA TODAY, 4/7). The AP conducted a similar study, but pegged the average player salary at a record $2.63M, up 5.9% after “a rare drop from 2003 to 2004.” Also, the number of players making at least $1M rose to 390 after dropping three straight seasons from 425 to 374. The median player salary is $850,000, up from $800,000 last season but still below the record high of $975,000 in ’01 (AP, 4/6). The chart below presents MLB salary figures from both USA Today and the AP. Neither source includes cash paid or received through transactions. Rankings are based on USA Today.

RK
TEAM
USA TODAY
AP
1) Yankees
$208,306,817
$205,938,439
2) Red Sox
$123,505,125
$121,311,945
3) Mets
$101,305,821
$104,770,139
4) Angels
$97,725,322
$95,017,822
5) Phillies
$95,522,000
$95,337,908
6) Cardinals
$92,106,833
$93,319,842
7) Giants
$90,199,500
$89,487,426
8) Mariners
$87,754,334
$85,883,333
9) Cubs
$87,032,933
$87,210,933
10) Braves
$86,457,302
$85,148,582
11) Dodgers
$83,039,000
$81,029,500
12) Astros
$76,779,000
$76,779,022
13) White Sox
$75,178,000
$75,228,000
14) Orioles
$73,914,333
$74,570,539
15) Tigers
$69,092,000
$68,998,183
16) Padres
$63,290,833
$62,888,192
17) D'Backs
$62,329,166
$63,015,834
18) Reds
$61,892,583
$59,658,275
19) Marlins
$60,408,834
$60,375,961
20) Twins
$56,186,000
$56,615,000
21) Rangers
$55,849,000
$55,307,258
22) A's
$55,425,762
$55,869,262
23) Nationals
$48,581,500
$48,581,500
24) Rockies
$48,155,000
$47,789,000
25) Blue Jays
$45,719,500
$45,366,500
26) Indians
$41,502,500
$41,830,400
27) Brewers
$39,934,833
$40,234,833
28) Pirates
$38,133,000
$38,133,000
29) Royals
$36,881,000
$36,881,000
30) D'Rays
$29,679,067
$29,893,567

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